February 03, 2009
On Superbowl Sunday morning, I was able to experience the San Francisco round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series (MESS) like most casual fans of the sport, by simply checking out SPEED's next-day coverage of the event. I am not a casual fan. I usually follow the race as it occurs in (somewhat) real-time, relying on whatever information is offered up on the internet, so by the time SPEED gets their program on air the next day, I already know what happened. But on the biggest TV-watching day of the year, I watched the races unfold with unknowing eyes.
It was pretty cool.
James Stewart went wire-to-wire to win his fourth straight. That's 4 victories in 5 races, 100 points earned since he walked out of Anaheim in a daze. That's amazing.
And yeah, watching him on TV, he made it look easy. Of course, winning a supercross race is anything but, as one look at James' face in the photo above attests (another great picture by Swap at Transworld Motocross). But that's one of the primary challenges of covering a dynamic and complex sport like supercross on television: how to convey the depth of emotions and excitement that permeate the sport, in a very, very short period of time. And I am not suggesting more pre-recorded packages, which have been showing great improvement I must add, I think they can significantly improve the on-track racing coverage. I think the producers need to breakout the thinking caps and brainstorm some ways to up the detail level of the coverage... or hire some expert consultants to bring them some fresh ideas. There's plenty of talent in the "traditional" motocross media; I hope the cable and broadcast guys are listening to them. I'm just sayin'.